OUT!!!! - i mean... safe???

full disclosure: i am a *huge* st. louis cardinals fan. i always have been. i (as a grown man) shamelessly cried tears of joy when they won it all in 2006 and after last years epic championship run i was still buzzing all winter!

sports can be a very enjoyable activity (to participate in or to follow as a fan) but they can also become an idol. when we get to the point that we get more excited, spend more emotional energy, spend more time and money on playing, watching,or following athletes or teams, or get more vocal about our appreciation and zeal for grown men playing with a ball than we do for the one who made us, sustains us, and saved us…something is wrong. it has become a vehicle for our sinful hearts to make another idol.

but this is not an “anti-sports” post.actually, it is about how sports can point us to the gospel.

i didn’t catch monday night football last night, but it didn’t take long for me to find out that a blown call had decided the game. as a sports fan, i know the frustration that comes from that.

blown calls that cost your team a game (last night’s packer’s game), a world series (’85 cardinals/”denkinger!!!”), or even a perfect game (jim joyce/ galarraga in ’10) are incredibly frustrating because we want what is “fair”.

when something happens that is “unfair”, we we cry out for justice. it’s innate in us.

that is why it is so perplexing that we don’t want what is “fair” from god.

justice demands that we, who rebel against god daily, get we deserve- which is his wrath against us. it is what we have earned because of our rebellion against him. justice demands that evil, wicked, & sinful rebels who have made themselves enemies of the perfect holy god get what they deserve.

yet we don’t beg for justice when it comes to us and god. instead we expect that god be unjust, unfair, looking past our sin and to *not* give us what we deserve- to be shown *mercy*, to not be given what we have earned.

and then in an arrogance of cosmic proportions, we *demand* that he give us what we *don’t* deserve… grace. and we can even be so bold at times to say or think that if he isn’t constantly and consistently benevolent toward us, then he is *unfair*.

how sinful & corrupt our hearts are… demanding justice when it benefits us, and demanding mercy where justice would give us what we deserve.

all of this amplifies the mercy & grace offered by the lord through the gospel- that god made jesus, who knew no sin, to become our sin (who did this willingly & with joy!) so that whoever puts their trust in christ, his life,death, & resurrection, can have their sins forgiven and receive grace & mercy, love & joy from god instead of the wrath we all deserve.

how “fair” is that?

how glorious is that?

have you thanked god today that sports (and replacement refs) can point us to the gospel?